Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Portland teachers feel classroom environment is unsafe, according to union survey | OregonLive.com

Portland teachers feel classroom environment is unsafe, according to union survey | OregonLive.com:

Portland teachers feel classroom environment is unsafe, according to union survey






About 34 percent of Portland teachers who took a recent survey feel their school environment is unsafe, according to the Portland Association of Teachers union. 
The union presented key survey results to the school board at its Tuesday night meeting. About 1,000 of the union's members responded to the survey, which was distributed online this spring.
Suzanne Cohen, union vice-president, said the survey was in light of an increase in reports of teacher injuries and organized by a union committee.  
The survey's main conclusions were that the district was not effectively implementing new discipline practices and failing to provide adequate special education services, Cohen said. 
Superintendent Carole Smith has named reducing exclusionary discipline, or the number of suspensions and expulsions, as one of the district's key priorities. The goal is reduce overall exclusionary discipline by 50 percent and disproportionate discipline by 50 percent by June 2016. 
A presentation to the board Aug. 25 showed that the percentage of students who were excluded from school has dropped from 7.2 percent in 2008 to 2009 to 2.4 percent last year. Disproportionately has also decreased. Racially historically underserved students were about 2.9 times more likely to be excluded than white students in 2012-2013 and 2.6 times more likely last year. 
The district is implementing positive behavior supports, culturally responsive teaching and restorative justice programs to reduce rates. The district focused on 12 schools last year, which saw the percentage of students excluded at least once drop from 9 percent to 4 percent over a two year span. 
However about half of teachers said they didn't feel the district clearly communicated Portland teachers feel classroom environment is unsafe, according to union survey | OregonLive.com:

The Path [A Reflection On My Tenth Year of Teaching] | The Jose Vilson

The Path [A Reflection On My Tenth Year of Teaching] | The Jose Vilson:

The Path [A Reflection On My Tenth Year of Teaching]



My taxi was driving down Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, a warm breeze with my windows down, a contrast from what felt like fall weather that fell upon New York before I left. Outside of Google Maps, I couldn’t verify whether the car was going in the right direction because it was my first time in LA proper, an oversight I corrected this past weekend. On my way to the United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) building for a community event, I happened upon this picture:

IMG_20150827_175955314


LA is world renown for its open walls where artists craft extensive murals like this. Of course, this specific mural sang to me. To the right in the mural is the late Jaime Escalante, at one time considered the greatest teacher in the country. To the left, Edward James Olmos, world-renown actor who played Escalante in the movie Stand and Deliver (1988). I’ve met Olmos, never Escalante, though I and millions of us felt like we met Escalante through Olmos.
Between the time it took to see this mural and getting to the event, I had enough time to remember that I never reflected on the last school year. Perhaps with good reason.
This last year was tough. I wrote about the overarching themes here, but I didn’t get to mention a The Path [A Reflection On My Tenth Year of Teaching] | The Jose Vilson:



Common Core “Results” Aren’t Actually Test Scores

Common Core “Results” Aren’t Actually Test Scores:

Common Core “Results” Aren’t Actually Test Scores





A few states have now released results from the Common Core standardized tests administered to students last spring. The Associated Press recently published a story about them, and over the next couple of months we can expect a flood of press releases, news articles and opinion columns bragging about the “success” of these tests.
But nearly all the news and opinion pieces will be wildly misleading. That’s because Common Core “results” aren’t actually test scores. In fact, the numbers tell us more about the states’ test scorers than they do about schoolchildren.
Consider the AP story, for example. It says that, across seven states, “overall scores [were] higher than expected, though still below what many parents may be accustomed to seeing.” But the only things that have been released are percentages of students who supposedly meet “proficiency” levels. Those are not test scores—certainly not what parents would understand as scores. They are entirely subjective measurements.
Here’s why. When a child takes a standardized test, his or her results are turned into a “raw score,” that is, the actual number of questions answered correctly, or when an answer is worth more than one point, the actual number of points the child received. That is the only real objective “score,” and yet, Common Core raw scores have not been released.
Raw scores are adjusted—in an ideal world to account for the difficulty of questions from year to year—and converted to “scale scores.” A good way to understand those is to think of the SAT. When we say a college applicant scored a 600 on the math portion of the SAT test, we do not mean he or she got 600 answers right, we mean the raw scores were run through a formula that created a scale score—and that formula may change depending on which version of the SAT was taken. Standardized test administrators rarely publicize scale scores and the Common Core administrators have not.
Then the test administrators decide on “cut scores,” that is, the numerical levels of scale scores where a student is declared to be basic, proficient or advanced. (Here are the cut scores for the “Smarter Balanced” Common Core test. As of August, the PARCC test hadn’t set cut scores.)
Now, when a news story says that proficiency percentages were “higher than expected,” you Common Core “Results” Aren’t Actually Test Scores:

CURMUDGUCATION: NY: It's Not the Law

CURMUDGUCATION: NY: It's Not the Law:

NY: It's Not the Law







Sometimes it's the small market newspapers that take risks and get out ahead of the pack. But sometimes they're just extra clueless, like the Times Herald-Record of Middletown, New York.

Here they are making noise about how the opt-out movement is doomed. Doomed!! Oh, they had a big run last year, but that was back when there were no consequences for their shenanigans. But this year things will be different. Oh, yes, baby. Different. Because the new sherif in town has laid down the law.

The THR quotes MaryEllen Elia's recent speech about how she's armed superintendents with special parent-intimidation tool kits so that supers can make it clear that it's the law. The editorial writer underlines that with punchy single-sentence paragraphs.


That’s worth repeating.

“It’s the law.”

 Well, no. It's not worth repeating. It might be worth clarifying. As in, what, exactly is the law. Because while I have not examined the relevant laws of New York State in painful detail, I'm pretty sure that what the law says is that schools must give the test. There's no law that says that students 
CURMUDGUCATION: NY: It's Not the Law:






Dude, Really?: Education policy kudos and criticism (in the same week) | Cloaking Inequity

Dude, Really?: Education policy kudos and criticism (in the same week) | Cloaking Inequity:

Dude, Really?: Education policy kudos and criticism (in the same week)







At my core, the reason why I chose educational policy as a profession is because I care about children.
Today I’d like to take up some of the critics of the policy brief that I included in the post Flood of Lies: Education reform crescendo at #Katrina10 Then I would like to humbly share some very cool kudos that happened this week. Be warned, this post has a certain randomness to it, kind of like my favorite blog MGoBlog.
First let me start with some background. I have never lived in New Orleans, however, I did live in Houston— which is about a five hour drive from NOLA at the speed that I drive. So I have been to New Orleans about ten times in my life. Half of the trips to New Orleans were related to schools and communities.

Recently I spent almost a week in New Orleans meeting with stakeholders and others. I also attended a community-based education reform conference. I was interested in understanding the perspectives parents, students and activists about education reform in the city. They relayed that the focus on “improvement” didn’t match up with the reality of Black students and families. One parent put it this way, “Improvement for Whites, not Blacks.” Recent surveys have Dude, Really?: Education policy kudos and criticism (in the same week) | Cloaking Inequity:

Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 9/1/15 #FightForDyett


SPECIAL NITE CAP 

CORPORATE ED REFORM





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Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: Rahm's budget hearing not exactly what he had in mind
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WV MetroNews – Reconnecting McDowell turns attention to absenteeism & reading proficiency
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Dyett hunger strikers begin third week without food - #FightForDyett
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NY State ed commissioner clarifies position on standardized tests | WBFO
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YESTERDAY

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